Friday, April 22, 2011

Settle For One Day To Believe In You

Not following a particular religion can make holidays feel a little weird.

A few of my Facebook friends on Monday posted about celebrating Passover. I checked my status feed this morning (Good Friday), and was greeted by at least 25 posts thanking Jesus for his sacrifice.

Generally, I try not to broadcast my feelings about religions. I like to spend a great deal of time with someone, usually, trying to get a feel for them, before I will tell them how I feel about religion. Now that I think about it, it's not really all that odd, to wait until you're familiar with someone before treading those grounds with them.

This country is still predominantly Christian, and it shows in my behavior, as I behave like a minority. Is there an issue of trust? There might be. You could say, I do not trust my acquaintances to stick by me if they knew I did not share their belief with them. Could that also be insecurity on my part, that I'm not willing to stick up to me beliefs in the face of opposition? Yes, but in the case of agnosticism/atheism, what do you gain by sticking to it? Nothing.

It would be foolish, in my estimation, to assume that although I tolerate my friends' beliefs, that they should tolerate mine. If a person follows a religion, then they should follow it to the exclusion of all others; if you have the faith that you're right, then you should be convincing all others to agree with you. If you aren't trying to convince others, how strong is your faith?

So, I say "Bless you" when someone sneezes, and I go to church with my family. I stand up and sit down at the right times, and I teach my children the prayers and psalms. It's a basis of a moral education, for them, and a constant reminder for me, of what I do not possess.

Conservatives in this country are right, in this one thing: tolerance will lead to the destruction of religion as an exclusive institution. If everyone is allowed to believe however they want, and the sheep quit attacking the goats just because they are goats, then the "us vs. them" argument fails to carry any weight.

Would be a bad thing? I can't be sure. I think I'd still miss the holidays, though.

Until another time,


  1. The holidays were there before the religions, but they were called festivals and celebrated the seasons. Funny how it all comes together and comes around again and again.
    Love, Mom

  2. I look at Easter as a celebration of spring, which is I guess what most of the other religions celebrated it for. I have to admit though that I tend to go the opposite way. I tend to be too outspoken about my religion (or lack there of) and that's led me into trouble in the past.

  3. I found a good quote for this --

    Your religion is what you do when the sermon is over. - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

  4. Interesting post.

    I'm not sure I'm with you with the assertion that having strong faith means you have to try to convince others you're right.

    I can see having a strong faith and being willing to share it with others who inquire about it. But I've never truly understood the notion of feeling compelled to convince others that your faith is the right faith.

    Then again, I'm fairly agnostic, so I'm probably disinclined to understand that as a matter or principle :-)


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